Chinese Expert in Focused Ultrasound Visits Foundation, UVA


Zhang1Lian Zhang, MD, gastroenterologist with the Clinical Center for Tumor Therapy, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, met with Alan Matsumoto, MD, Co-Director of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center.

Dr. Zhang is a leading clinician in the field, having been involved with focused ultrasound for more than 10 years. Chongqing Haifu’s focused ultrasound system is currently approved in China and Europe to treat uterine fibroids, breast cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, soft tissue tumors, and pain control for pancreatic cancer and bone metastases. The technology is quite established for uterine fibroids, with more than 100 Chongqing Haifu systems in OB/GYN offices around China.

“Focused ultrasound is a noninvasive technique that should be the future for the treatment of many tumors,” said Dr. Zhang. “It is important that physicians and patients know about this approach and how patients can benefit from this treatment.”

After learning about the scope of focused ultrasound treatment in China and some of the exciting research expanding the use of the technology, Dr. Matsumoto commented that, “Dr. Zhang and his team have demonstrated great expertise and experience with ultrasound-guided HIFU therapy and its exciting potential to be translated to a wide array of disease states.”

Highlights of recent research in a range of conditions include:

  • Liver Cancer − Results of a small study of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of liver cancer) achieved a 3-year survival rate of 80%, comparable to and potentially better than studies using other treatments such as RF ablation and resection.
  • Pancreatic Cancer − They have also had promising results in a feasibility study for pancreatic cancer. In this study, 21 of 23 patients showed tissue volume control at six months, 9 out of 11 patients had long lasting pain control after 14 months of follow-up.
  • Breast Cancer − A breast-sparing study of 46 breast cancer patients with stage 1, 2, or 3 disease treated with focused ultrasound, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy achieved a mean 33 month survival rate of over 95% and local recurrence of 4.3%.
  • Bone Cancer − A study of 80 patients receiving limb-sparing treatment including chemotherapy (for those with sensitive tumors) and focused ultrasound showed that patients who had full focused ultrasound treatment and completed chemotherapy had a significantly higher chance of survival than those who had partial treatment.
  • Fibroids − In a review of 757 patients with 1114 uterine fibroids treated with focused ultrasound from 2006-2009, symptom improvement was observed in 92.5% of patients, and sustained for three years.

The meeting with Dr. Matsumoto will hopefully be the first step in a long-term collaboration between UVA, Chongqing University, and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

To learn more about research being done with the Chongqing Haifu systems, read these publications:

Li CX, Zhang WD, Fan WJ, Huang JH, Zhang FJ, Wu PH. Noninvasive treatment of malignant bone tumors using high-intensity focused ultrasound. Cancer 2010 Aug 15;116(16):3934-42.

Wu F, Wang ZB, Cao YD, Zhu XQ, Zhu H, Chen WZ, Zou JZ. “Wide local ablation” of localized breast cancer using high intensity focused ultrasound. J Surg Oncol 2007 Aug 1;96(2):130-6.

Orsi F, Arnone P, Chen WZ, Zhang LA. High intensity focused ultrasound ablation: A new therapeutic option for solid tumors. J Cancer Res Ther 2010 Oct-Dec;6(4):414-20.

Orsi F, Zhang L, Arnone P, Orgera G, Bonomo G, Vigna PD, Monfardini L, Zhou K, Chen W, Wang Z, Veronesi U. High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation: effective and safe therapy for solid tumors in difficult locations. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Sep;195(3):W245-52.

Zhao WP, Chen JY, Zhang L, Li Q, Qin J, Peng S, Li KQ, Wang ZB, Chen WZ. Feasibility of ultrasound-guided high intensity focused ultrasound ablating uterine fibroids with hyperintense on T2-weighted MR imaging. Eur J Radiol. 2013 Jan;82(1):e43-9.